Catalytic Funding to Help Dairy Processors Grow Their Businesses, Innovate their Product Lines and Adopt More Sustainable Practices
OVER $5.87 MILLION AWARDED BY PCC-DBII TO DAIRY BUSINESSES IN CALIFORNIA, OREGON, WASHINGTON, NEVADA AND NEW MEXICO
$5.87 million in grants have been awarded to dairy processors along the Pacific Coast, strengthening the region’s food systems.
The Pacific Coast Coalition – Dairy Business Innovation Initiative (PCC-DBII), hosted by California State University, Fresno, has named 28 winners across California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada and New Mexico.
While all grants are pivotal to the sustainability and longevity of each respective business, Rosa Brothers Milk Company (Hanford, CA) was awarded almost $1 million for the purchasing of ice cream equipment to meet demands, produce novelty items, provide healthier alternatives and expand into the pet food market with Greek-style frozen yogurt pet treats.
Grants of $500,000 were given to Pacific Cheese Co. (Reno, NV) for an upgraded cheese cuber that will almost triple production in a growing market, Petit Pot (Emeryville, CA) for launching a more affordable paper cup 2-pack without compromising on quality, and CheeseBits (Riverbank, CA) for reducing COGS through automation, adding jobs and expanding into new markets.
With $4.78 million going towards equipment-related investments, all grants support the economics of innovation in the dairy industry.
Grouped by state, grant awardees include:
California
Achadinha Cheese Company (Petaluma); Alec’s Ice Cream (Petaluma); Central Coast Creamery (Paso Robles); CheeseBits (Riverbank); Cheese Trail (Petaluma): Hilmar Cheese Company (Hilmar); Nicasio Valley Cheese (Nicasio); Petit Pot (Emeryville); Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Co. (Point Reyes); Schoch Family Farmstead (Salinas); Stepladder Creamery (Cambria); Stuyt Dairy Farmstead Cheese Company (Escalon); Rosa Brothers Milk Company (Hanford); Valley Ford Cheese & Creamery (Valley Ford); Vintage Cheese Company (Traver)
Oregon
Lady-Lane Farm (Mulino); Rising Sun Dairy (Turner); Ruby Jewel Company (Portland); The Salty Goat (Gold Hill); Tin Willows Sheep Dairy & Ranch (Lexington)
Washington
Nevada 
New Mexico
Camino de Paz (Santa Cruz)
“Each grant awardee embodies the passion and initiative to build a stronger dairy presence on the West Coast, and to forge bonds between food producers/processors and consumers,  said PCC-DBII Project Director Carmen Licon Cano, Ph.D. “Recipients range from adding a creamery location where people can watch cheese being made on a small scale to transitioning a production line with automation, allowing employees to free up for other important tasks, like creating new value-added dairy products.  All projects are exciting, allowing dairy processors to make nutritious, delicious dairy products available locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally.”
Grant winners’ intentions range from upgrading equipment, streamlining processes, optimizing packaging, adding more jobs, developing new products, and generating new market growth. From first-generation businesses to multi-generational legacies, these grants support the future of the dairy industry and the strength of our nation’s food systems.
Dairy processing businesses and farmsteads throughout the West Coast are actively investing grant funds to catalyze change via their product offerings, production efficiencies, job retention/growth, and market expansion.  Dr. Susan Pheasant, Director of the Institute for Food and Agriculture and the “cowkeeper” for the PCC-DBII commented “We are thrilled to work with each of these businesses and honored to steward the USDA AMS dairy innovation funding for product development, business resiliency, access to high-quality food nutrition, and the rebuilding of communities.
The Pacific Coast Coalition – Dairy Business Innovation Initiative is funded through the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service and hosted by California State University, Fresno. The initiative is in collaboration with Cal Poly Humboldt, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Chapman University, Chico State, Oregon State University, Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council, UC Davis, Washington State University, New Mexico State University and the California Dairy Innovation Center. This is the fourth round of grant funding through the PCC-DBII. Via four rounds of funding, PCC-DBII has made nearly $10.7 million in grants from the USDA AMS available to regional dairy businesses for innovation-related investments, helping dairy processors evolve their operations and adopt more sustainable practices. For more information on the PCC-DBII and available resources, please visit their website at https://www.dairypcc.net/

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